Is Newt Gingrich Canoodling with the Truth?

Much like a spinster so frantic to marry that she settles for a husband who's an abusive alcoholic, conservative voters seem so desperate for a candidate who can clearly articulate their cause, apparently, that they too are willing to overlook some troubling character flaws.

In order to snag a candidate who can explain the conservative platform, many Republicans seem willing to overlook Newt Gingrich's tawdry adulterous past as well as his loose grasp on the truth, which seems to loosen more by the day. 

Newt Gingrich prides himself on admitting his sin, and he justifies leading the charge against Bill Clinton not because of what Bill was actually doing in the Oval Office during the Lewinsky scandal, but merely because Bill lied about it. 

Newt must believe that liars who confess are exhibiting an admirable character trait.  It seems that, in the former speaker's head, being truthful about lying is what sets liars who tell the truth about lying apart from liars who lie about lying.

As the days go on, the more he talks, the more evident it becomes that Mr. Gingrich has a unique ability to stretch the facts to accommodate political goals, assisted by a skewed perception of truth.  The ex-speaker is turning out to be as articulate as Barack Obama; the only difference is that Obama reads his fabrications off a Teleprompter, while Newt had his memorized long ago.

And he's good at it, too.  Mr. Gingrich won the South Carolina primary after verbally smacking down John King of CNN at the opening of the South Carolina debate, when John dared to broach the controversy of Newt's second wife Marianne going public in an interview exposing the details of their messy divorce.  

Marianne claimed that Newt wanted an "open marriage," alleging that Callista Bisek was so enamored of Newt that she didn't care if she remained his mistress indefinitely.  Indignant about being asked such a rude question and after verbally castigating the moderator, Gingrich rebutted his ex-wife's claim by telling King that his campaign had offered ABC two witnesses who would step forward and attest to the fact that the "open marriage" request was false.

Witnesses?  Who besides Callista and Marianne would know whether Newt wanted an open marriage or not?  Both women are ex-mistresses, and regardless of which one sings in the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as far as character witnesses go, neither one is all that reputable. 

Now we come to find out that the only two individuals the Gingrich campaign could make available to ABC were his devoted adult daughters, Jackie Gingrich Cushman and Kathy Lubbers, who know for a fact that their father never asked their stepmother for an open marriage, because he told them he didn't.

Okay, so Newt telling John he had witnesses was just a partial lie, which could still be interpreted as truth, because even Clinton would agree that it all depends on what the definition of "witness" is.

Gingrich's ability to articulate conservative policy aside, even his most ardent supporters must agree that the man is a master when it comes to verbally stage-managing the conversation.  Moreover, it takes a unique kind of person to have the hubris to head up the investigation of a sitting president caught in a dalliance with a White House intern while simultaneously carrying on a forbidden affair with a congressional aide in a Washington, D.C. apartment his wife decorated. 

...And then, with a straight face, exempt himself from the same level of personal condemnation he meted out to others merely because he confessed, saying something similar to "I did have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Bisek.  I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never.  These allegations are true."

But that's pretty much what Newt Gingrich did.  Now he's saying that he ran ads that dredged up the Clinton-Lewinsky affair while he was on his second adulterous relationship only because of the serious nature of perjury, not because he was actually condemning Bill's sleazy behavior.

When speaking with Jorge Ramos of Univision, referring to both his divorces, Gingrich distinguished his adultery from Clinton's perjury about adultery in the following way: "I have been deposed both times under oath and both times I have told the truth in the deposition."

Court records revealed that Newt answered some questions under oath, but the two depositions where he supposedly bared his soul apparently never happened.  Question for Newt: is perjury about adultery somehow worse than swearing you told the truth at a deposition that never took place?

Giving new meaning to the Oscar Wilde line, "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple," Gingrich's personal attorney came to his client's defense pertaining to the oath/deposition controversy, saying, "I guess he's both lying and telling the truth."

Lying and then admitting you lied, or lying and then "clarifying" after the fact, are traits, in Newt's case, that are proving habitual and increasingly worthy of note. 

If things keep going the way they're going, with Nancy Pelosi swearing she knows firsthand "something" about the former speaker, one has to wonder what secrets were exchanged on that love seat she and Newt occupied for a spell.

Nonetheless, when pressed a second time by Univision's Jorge Ramos to address the hypocrisy of criticizing Bill Clinton while canoodling with Callista in the Supreme Court cafeteria, Mr. Gingrich smarmily responded, "Okay, there is someplace there where there's a mental synapse missing."

Newt Gingrich may have sincerely repented for his dual forays into adultery; no one can or should judge his heart.  But whether he did or not, when it comes to remembering the details of the events he freely expounds upon, Gingrich is either convinced that injecting a speck of truth into every lie makes it the truth, or after all those years in Washington, D.C., he is the one with the missing synapses.

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